Season closes for Calvert
Lose to La Plata in four sets in 2A South section final
Just a week ago, the La Plata volleyball team celebrated with the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championship plaque by virtue of a fiveset win over host Calvert.
On Wednesday night, the second-seeded Warriors celebrated some more after knocking off the defending Class 2A South Region champion Cavaliers yet again, this time in four sets in the 2A South Section II championship match by scores of 25-15, 25-22, 14-25 and 25-14.
La Plata (14-2 overall) advances to Friday’s regional championship match where it travels to take on Glenelg of Howard County at 5 p.m. The Gladiators swept county foe Wilde Lake in the Section I final on Wednesday.
It will be the first region final appearance for La Plata since 2014 when it was in the 3A South classification.
“We came out and set the tone in the first two sets. We pretty much knew what Calvert’s lineup was like,” La Plata head coach Ashley Buchanan said. “It was just all about rotations and we were able to execute at the net and play strong defensively. Before the season we wanted to win SMAC and now we want to take the region.”
Calvert (14-3), the section’s top seed, had La Plata’s number in the regular season, defeating the Warriors in both meetings, but the tides turned as the Warriors
had the edge in the last two matchups, ending the Cavaliers’ valiant season in the playoffs.
La Plata blitzed through the first two sets Wednesday and was on the verge of collecting a sweep until Calvert responded with a strong showing in the third set.
The Warriors took charge in the fourth set to take it and the match, reeling off eight straight points after a 3-all tie.
La Plata, also the Potomac Division champions, was anchored by its two offensive weapons in senior outside hitter Devin Ruble and sophomore middle blocker Jayci Chamberlain.
Ruble was a dominant force at the net, finishing with a match-high 20 kills, while Chamberlain contributed with seven kills.
“This was an amazing win tonight. Everyone was aggressive at the net and we put the ball away,” Ruble said. “We had seen Calvert a couple times already and we we just made a few adjustments. We didn’t want our season to be over and everybody played their hearts out tonight.”
Senior setter Ava Krahling placed perfect passes to her hitters as she finished with 37 assists in the match.
“We were looking forward to this game,” Chamberlain siad. “This was a huge win for us now. Calvert is a very good team and it was a battle. Winning those two first sets really gave us that momentum.”
The Warriors set the tone by taking the first set soundly. The second set was tight throughout as the visitors held a 24-19 lead. Calvert did not go away as it cut the lead to 24-22, but La Plata’s scored the set’s final point on a Cavaliers error at the net.
Led by the strong hitting of Rachel Black and Anna Kelly, Calvert (14-3), the SMAC Chesapeake Division champions, jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the third set. La Plata came to within 10-7, but the Cavaliers went on a seven-point run and eventually won the set.
“You have to give it to La Plata for making big plays when it counted,” Calvert head coach Tim Smith said. “They were strong from start to finish. We will miss our seven seniors. We had a great season.”
Members of the Calvert Cavaliers volleyball celebrate after a point during Wednesday night’s Class 2A South Region Section II final versus visiting La Plata. The Warriors won the match in four sets.